What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Money Doesn't Buy Happiness and Doesn't Stop People from Trying to Buy Happiness

June 8, 2014, 7:16 PM
Money_happiness

What's the Latest?

With the economy lacking the luster it had a decade ago, conspicuous consumption continues to plague the American landscape. But is our need to impress friends and family with our ability to buy things our unfortunate fate? Yes and no, argues evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller. What appears to be essential is our need to demonstrate superior evolutionary qualities such as health, fitness, attractiveness, etc. "For Miller the process of runaway sexual selection that gave rise to energetically wasteful ornaments like the peacock’s tail...is precisely what gives rise to Hummers and McMansions."

What's the Big Idea?

Miller argues that marketing is the vast cultural ocean in which we all swim and struggle against just to stay afloat. To be sure, there are other forces at work in our desire to consume products we don't really need. Rather than display our unique qualities, for example, much consumption seems aimed at imitating group behavior. Witness fashion trends that render an entire nation of 20-somethings visually indistinct from one another. To overcome our present state, Miller recommends placing higher taxes on sales than income, which would in turn discourage unnecessary purchases. 

Read more at Seed

More from the Big Idea for Monday, June 16 2014

Redefining Happiness

What makes you happy? Studies have shown that it's not the kind of car you drive or anything else having to do with your possessions, which often gather dust. It's the quality of your relationship... Read More…

 

Money Doesn't Buy Happiness...

Newsletter: Share: